Spanish enjoys proper academic standards

Spanish works in any country, under any working conditions

Today’s globalised world increasingly requires a workforce with highly portable skills. A working knowledge of a truly international language such as Spanish might become, for many, the only indisputably portable skill – one that will work in any country, in any discipline/area, under different working conditions.

Spanish is one of the languages most in demand at schools in the developed countries. Members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), including Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States, actively promote the teaching and learning of Spanish. Australia is no exception.

Spanish is the language of emergent Latin American economies in the Pacific Rim. Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Central American countries and Mexico share economic interests with Asia Pacific countries.


Spanish in the UK

For English speakers who frequently relocate to other English-speaking countries, Spanish is the key foreign language to add to their portfolios. In 2004, more than 33% of the jobs advertised in the UK which explicitly mentioned a language listed or required Spanish – compared to French in just 22%. In the United States the figure rose to 71%, with Japanese a poor second at 6%.

“According to 2011 figures from the [UK] Department for Education, there were more than 13,000 speakers of Spanish in English schools, making Spanish the 14th most commonly spoken language by schoolchildren with English as an additional language. In Scotland, Spanish ranks as tenth in importance.  There are, however, indications that these numbers are growing. According to Eversley et al., the number of Spanish-speaking schoolchildren in London grew by 57 per cent in the period 1998 to 2008.

Spanish is the second most popular language at GCSE with more than 66,000 entries in 2012. In Scotland the number of entries for Spanish in all school level examinations has continued to grow. Spanish is also now the second most popular language at A-level after French, having overtaken German in 2005. With more than 7,600 entries in 2013, it is the only major language to buck the trend of year on year decline. Spanish is offered at degree level by more than 70 universities across the whole of the UK and has seen fewer departmental closures than other languages…

The British Academy publication, Lost for Words (2013), reports that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)  in the UK is creating additional posts for speakers of particular languages in a number of regions including Latin America to reflect the rise of emerging powers and their economies. The FCO plans to increase the number of British diplomats speaking Spanish (Latin American) and Portuguese by 20 per cent.”1

Spanish language information for the UK and Internet usage

Language tables and chart
Languages most offered as evening classes in the UK / Languages for cultural, educational and diplomatic purposes / Internet usage by language Footnote 2


Matrix of language indicators (the ten indicators used in the Languages for the future analysis, the ten languages which emerge as the most important for the UK)

(please click on the image to see a larger version)
Matrix of language indicators
Matrix of language indicators Footnote 3


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1. “Spanish Español” in Languages for the future: Which languages the UK needs most and why. British Council, 2013 pp.38-39 [Online] Cited 07/11/2014
2. Ibid., pp. 14-16
3. Ibid., p. 43